UTSA hopes to re-write history against Oregon State

Keaton Wallace. UTSA beat UT-Permian Basin 98-55 on Sunday at the UTSA Convocation Center. - photo by Joe Alexander

Keaton Wallace is averaging 22 points on 57.5 percent shooting in his last three games. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Ten years and one month have passed since the UTSA Roadrunners last won a men’s basketball game against a team from one of the NCAA’s power conferences.

It was Nov. 15, 2009 when the Roadrunners downed the Iowa Hawkeyes, 62-50, in a season opener at Iowa City.

Since then, UTSA has lost 20 straight against teams from the traditional football/basketball powers — namely, the Southeastern Conference, the ACC, the Big Ten, the Big 12 and the Pac-12.

Counting those five conferences, plus the basketball-dominant Big East, the streak is 21 games.

The Roadrunners will try to break those streaks this afternoon in Houston at the Toyota Center against the Pac-12’s Oregon State Beavers.

“That would be big time to beat a team like Oregon State,” UTSA guard Keaton Wallace said. “They’re a good team. I don’t think we’re going to go in and change anything or go in timid.

“We’re going to still play Roadrunner basketball.  We’re going to be confident going into the game, and, you know, we’re going to play hard.”

Led by forward Tres Tinkle, the unranked Beavers (8-1) have won six straight games. The Roadrunners (4-6) are playing well, having won four of five since an 0-5 start.

Included in the losses, UTSA fell 85-67 in the season opener at Oklahoma, a power opponent from the Big 12.

UTSA fell to 0-5 on Nov. 18 when it lost by 32 on the road at No. 15 Utah State.

Since then, the Roadrunners changed up the backcourt, bringing in Erik Czumbel to start at the point.  They also changed some things on how to free shooters on the perimeter.

The result has been better play from Wallace and an offense that has scored 264 points over its last three games.

UTSA coach Steve Henson said high expectations were not met earlier in the season, but he added that players are getting more comfortable with the system.

“We’re a pretty talented group,” UTSA coach Steve Henson said. “We did not get off to the start we envisioned … We’re still not where we hope to be.  Lately, we’re playing a lot better.

“We’re starting to figure some things out.  Even though we have a fairly veteran group, we also have some key new players. I think we’re starting to figure out how to use those guys.  They’re getting more comfortable.

“The last two games, we’re playing with confidence. We’re playing better, shooting the ball better … Hopefully, we’re making some progress.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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